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The "Chinese EPYC" Hygon Dhyana CPU Support Still Getting Squared Away For Linux

Filed under
Linux
Hardware

Back in June is when the Linux kernel patches appeared for the Hygon Dhyana, the new x86 processors based on AMD Zen/EPYC technology licensed by Chengdu Haiguang IC Design Co for use in Chinese data-centers. While the patches have been out for months, they haven't reached the mainline kernel quite yet but that might change next cycle.

The Hygon Dyhana Linux kernel patches have gone through several revisions and the code is mostly adapting existing AMD Linux kernel code paths for Zen/EPYC to do the same on these new processors. While these initial Hygon CPUs appear to basically be re-branded EPYC CPUs, the identifiers are different as rather than AMD Family 17h, it's now Family 18h and the CPU Vendor ID is "HygonGenuine" and carries a new PCI Express device vendor ID, etc. So the different areas of the kernel from CPUFreq to KVM/Xen virtualization to Spectre V2 mitigations had to be updated for the correct behavior.

Read more

Linux developers threaten to pull “kill switch”

Filed under
Development
Linux

Linux powers the internet, the Android in your pocket, and perhaps even some of your household appliances. A controversy over politics is now seeing some of its developers threatening to withdraw the license to all of their code, potentially destroying or making the whole Linux kernel unusable for a very long time.

Read more

Linux 4.19-rc5

Filed under
Linux

As almost everyone knows, it's been an "interesting" week from a social
point-of-view. But from the technical side, -rc5 looks totally normal.

The diffstat is a bit higher than previous -rc5's, but the number of
trees pulled is lower, so overall, pretty much all is on track. I'm not
seeing any major "these bugs are not being fixed!" type of reports, so I
can hope that the initial churn that -rc1 threw at everyone is under
control.

The majority size-wise of changes here are with more tests being added
and fixed up, but there is also the usual networking, x86, sound, drm,
ppc, and other fixes. Full details are in the shortlog below.

Read more

Also: Greg Kroah-Hartman Releases Linux 4.19-RC5 Following An "Interesting" Week

The Next Linux Kernel To Support Creative Sound BlasterX AE-5 Sound Cards

Filed under
Linux

The next major Linux kernel cycle whether it is called Linux 4.20 or ends up being called Linux 5.0 as expected is now slated to carry support for the high-end Creative Labs' Sound BlasterX AE-5 sound card.

Earlier this week I reported on Linux patches for the Sound BlasterX AE-5 coming from a contributor. The AE-5 is a ~$150 PCI Express sound card with SABRE32 Ultra Class DAC, BlasterX Acoustic Engine, and other high-end audio features and for suiting to gamers/enthusiasts also has an RGB lighting controller onboard.

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The Reiser4 File-System Is Now Available For The Linux 4.18 Kernel

Filed under
Linux

It took several weeks past the initial stable debut of the Linux 4.18 kernel, but the Reiser4 file-system has now been updated to work with this new kernel build.

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OpenShot Video Editor Released 2.4.3 – Here’s What’s New

Filed under
Linux

OpenShot is a cross platform video editor available in Linux, Windows and Mac. This beginner’s friendly to advanced users’ video editor comes with huge set to of tools to create your videos, edit videos, cut, add sliding transitions and many more. The free and open source video editor OpenShot lands with latest release with improvements.

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Top Linux Distros for Software Developers

Filed under
GNU
Linux

A major factor in the choice of Linux distro is your personal preference. You may try one of the most popular Linux distros but find that you prefer one that’s less often used. Your experience with Linux will also factor into which distro is suited to you. With the benefits Linux can offer — including flexibility, stability, and support — it’s worth evaluating your options.

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Linux - The beginning of the end

Filed under
Linux

You should never swear at people under you - I use the word under in the hierarchical sense. Colleagues? Well, probably not, although you should never hold back on your opinion. Those above you in the food chain? It's fair game. You risk it to biscuit it.

I say, Linus shouldn't have used the language he did in about 55-65% of the cases. In those 55-65% of the cases, he swore at people when he should have focused on swearing at the technical solution. The thing is, people can make bad products but that does not make them bad people. It is important to distinguish this. People often forget this. And yes, sometimes, there is genuine malice. My experience shows that malice usually comes with a smile and lots of sloganeering. The typical corporate setup is an excellent breeding ground for the aspiring ladder climber.

Speaking of Linus, it is also vital to remember that the choice of language does not always define people, especially when there are cultural differences - it's their actions. In the remainder of the cases where "bad" language was used (if we judge it based on the approved corporate lingo vocab), the exchange was completely impersonal - or personal from the start on all sides - in which case, it's a different game.

The problem is, it's the whole package. You don't selective get to pick a person's attributes. Genius comes with its flaws. If Linus was an extroverted stage speaker who liked to gushy-mushy chitchat and phrase work problems in empty statements full of "inspiring" and "quotable" one-liners, he probably wouldn't be the developer that he is, and we wouldn't have Linux.

So was he wrong in some of those cases? Yes. Should he have apologized? Yes, privately, because it's a private matter. Definitely not the way it was done. Not a corporate-approved kangaroo court.

The outcome of this story is disturbing. A public, humiliating apology is just as bad. It's part of the wider corporate show, where you say how sorry you are on screen (the actual remorse is irrelevant). Linus might actually be sorry, and he might actually be seeking to improve his communication style - empathy won't be part of that equation, I guarantee that.

But this case - and a few similar ones - set a precedence.

People will realize, if someone like Linus gets snubbed for voicing his opinion - and that's what it is after all, an opinion, regardless of the choice of words and expletives - how will they be judged if they do something similar. But not just judged. Placed in the (social) media spotlight and asked to dance to a tune of fake humility in order to satisfy the public thirst for theatrics.

You are not expected to just feel remorse. You need to do a whole stage grovel.

And once the seed of doubt creeps in, people start normalizing.

It's a paradox that it's the liberal, democratic societies that are putting so much strain on the freedom of communication and speech. People forget the harsh lessons of the past and the bloody struggles their nations went through to ensure people could freely express themselves. Now, we're seeing a partial reversal.

But it's happening. The basket of "not allowed" words is getting bigger by the day. This affects how people talk, how they frame their issues, how they express themselves. This directly affects their work. There is less and less distinction between professional disagreement and personal slight. In fact, people deliberately blur the lines so they can present their business ineptitude as some sort of Dreyfuss witchhunt against their glorious selves.

As an ordinary person slaving in an office so you can pay your bills and raise your mediocre children, you may actually not want to say something that may be construed as "offensive" even though it could be a legitimate complaint, related to your actual work. This leads to self-censored, mind-numbing normalization. People just swallow their pride, suppress their problems, focus on the paycheck, and just play the life-draining corporate game. Or they have an early stroke.

Read more

Also: Google Keeps Pushing ChromeOS and Android Closer Together

FOSS Project Spotlight: Nitrux, a Linux Distribution with a Focus on AppImages and Atomic Upgrades

Filed under
GNU
Linux

Nitrux is a Linux distribution with a focus on portable, application formats like AppImages. Nitrux uses KDE Plasma 5 and KDE Applications, and it also uses our in-house software suite Nomad Desktop.

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Q4OS 3.4 Centaurus, testing

Filed under
GNU
Linux
Debian

A significant update to the Q4OS Centaurus testing version is available for download, you can find 64bit iso image at the dedicated Testing releases site. Anybody is invited to try it out and report bugs and glitches.

This release brings quite significant changes and improvements, the most important one is that Q4OS switched to the Calamares installer. That offers nice new installation features, for example fully encrypt target system, easy disk drive partitioning and many others. Another important change is move to the new Trinity 14.0.6 development version. All dependencies from the current stable Q4OS Scorpion has been removed, so the Centaurus now becomes fully independent getting its own repositories and dependencies. Secure boot support has been improved too. The Calamares installer detects, if secure boot is active and adjusts the target system accordingly. If secure boot is switched off in the firmware, no Secure boot stuff is installed.

Q4OS Centaurus 3.4 is based on the current Debian 'Buster' and Trinity desktop 14.0.6 development branches. Q4OS Centaurus will be in development until Debian Buster becomes stable, and will be supported at least five years from the official release date.

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LAS 2018

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    This month I was at my second Libre Application Summit in Denver. A smaller event than GUADEC but personally was my favorite conference so far. One of the main goals of LAS has been to be a place for multiple platforms to discuss the desktop space and not just be a GNOME event. This year two KDE members, @aleixpol and Albert Astals Cid, who spoke about release cycle of KDE Applications, Plasma, and the history of Qt. It is always interesting to see how another project solves the same problems and where there is overlap. The elementary folks were there since this is @cassidyjames home turf who had a great “It’s Not Always Techincal” talk as well as a talk with @danrabbit about AppCenter which are both very important areas the GNOME Project needs to improve in. I also enjoyed meeting a few other community members such as @Philip-Scott and talk about their use of elementary’s platform.
  • Developer Center Initiative – Meeting Summary 21st September
    Since last blog post there’s been two Developer Center meetings held in coordination with LAS GNOME Sunday the 9th September and again Friday the 21st September. Unfortunately I couldn’t attend the LAS GNOME meeting, but I’ll cover the general progress made here.

The "Chinese EPYC" Hygon Dhyana CPU Support Still Getting Squared Away For Linux

Back in June is when the Linux kernel patches appeared for the Hygon Dhyana, the new x86 processors based on AMD Zen/EPYC technology licensed by Chengdu Haiguang IC Design Co for use in Chinese data-centers. While the patches have been out for months, they haven't reached the mainline kernel quite yet but that might change next cycle. The Hygon Dyhana Linux kernel patches have gone through several revisions and the code is mostly adapting existing AMD Linux kernel code paths for Zen/EPYC to do the same on these new processors. While these initial Hygon CPUs appear to basically be re-branded EPYC CPUs, the identifiers are different as rather than AMD Family 17h, it's now Family 18h and the CPU Vendor ID is "HygonGenuine" and carries a new PCI Express device vendor ID, etc. So the different areas of the kernel from CPUFreq to KVM/Xen virtualization to Spectre V2 mitigations had to be updated for the correct behavior. Read more

Good Support For Wayland Remote Desktop Handling On Track For KDE Plasma 5.15

The KDE Plasma 5.15 release due out next year will likely be in good shape for Wayland remote desktop handling. The KDE Plasma/KWin developers have been pursuing Wayland remote desktop support along a similar route to the GNOME Shell camp by making use of PipeWire and the XDG-Desktop-Portal. Bits are already in place for KDE Plasma 5.13 and the upcoming 5.14 release, but for the 5.15 release is now where it sounds like the support may be in good shape for end-users. Read more

Linux developers threaten to pull “kill switch”

Linux powers the internet, the Android in your pocket, and perhaps even some of your household appliances. A controversy over politics is now seeing some of its developers threatening to withdraw the license to all of their code, potentially destroying or making the whole Linux kernel unusable for a very long time. Read more